In 1980 the US Air Force wanted a new tactical airlifter that could be refuelled in flight and land with large loads on austere landing strips. The C-17 was the answer and it would be built to replace the Lockheed Martin C-141 Starlifter tactical cargo aircraft.
Stephen Trimble, Flightglobal's Americas managing editor, wrote a post on his DEW Line blog : IMAGES: Lockheed's stealth C-130 successor revealed
In the archive:
C-17 profile page including content from Flightglobal and the wider web
Asian Skies blog: Could SIngapore buy C-17s?